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Recycling Paper - Why?

Discussion in 'Debates' started by gaynorvader, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. gaynorvader

    gaynorvader Well-Known Member

    Governmental bodies offer cash enticements\benefits to encourage companies\people to recycle paper. Why? Paper is a renewable resource! Companies buy large tracts of land, cut down some trees, grow others then repeat the cycle. This does no more harm to the environment than what is caused by the transport of the materials. Paper made this way is also biodegrabable and so will rot away to fresh nutrients quite quickly. Again no harm is done to the environment other than what the transport does.
    On the other hand, recycling paper still incurs all the transporting damage, but also puts pressure on the forests as it eliminates the need to grow trees for paper. Not only that, but in order to rid the paper of unsightly ink/pencil marks/etc. it goes through a bleaching process! What do you do with a load of bleach after you've used it? I suspect that it's probably either stored as hazardous waste somewhere or worse, dumped.
    How can this be viewed as having a positive effect on the environment? How can our governments pay taxpayers' money for such a pointless, fruitless excercise? Why isn't there an outcry from Green Peace?
  2. tehuber1337

    tehuber1337 Well-Known Member

    Use all the paper you want, the stuff grows on trees

    But really though, planting trees to compensate for those cut down didn't begin until recently and isn't necessarily a widespread practice. There's also the waiting period of several years for these trees to grow into maturity. Natural ecosystems are damaged by both the initial lumberjacking and the subsequent lumberlacking (oh wow I'm witty).
  3. Loonylion

    Loonylion Administrator Staff Member

    I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK...
  4. msg2009

    msg2009 Romulations sexiest member

    Because everybody wants to blow their nose on some paper someone once wiped their arse with.
  5. gaynorvader

    gaynorvader Well-Known Member

    Surely it's far more economical to regrow the trees as opposed to buying up more land to cut down more trees? Though I suppose it would be cheaper were you to sell the land after cutting down the trees. Perhaps it would be better if the governments offered incentives to companies that regrew the trees? Or perhaps made it a requirement to apply for planning permission before cutting down a significant number? I don't see how recycling is a viable economic or ecological long term solution.

    Always such valuable contributions to the debate loony, I'm in awe of your intelligence :p

    You Brits and your smart-ass comments! The colonials are showing a better standard of education, you better watch out! ;)
  6. tehuber1337

    tehuber1337 Well-Known Member

    As I said, time is a factor. The corporate world is highly dynamic; a given company may not last long enough to reap the benefits of a long-term investment like that. Companies large enough to be secure in their future wouldn't likely have qualms with buying as much land as they needed. After all, more stock means more potential profit.

    I'm no real estate agent or anything but I don't really see there being much widespread appeal in buying a chunk of ex-forest.

    I'm not sure they don't already do that.

    Economically speaking, environmentalism is marketable. Ecologically speaking, the demand for "fresh" trees is reduced. While we can't accurately predict long-term viability, recycling certainly has its benefits, even if they don't necessarily outweigh the costs. If it helps people sleep at night, though...

    Hey now, we "colonials" ranked first in the world for education in a UN study, tied with Finland.

    Man, I don't even know what we're debating any more.
  7. garychencool

    garychencool Well-Known Member

    I'd rather wipe myself with paper than a leaf :p
  8. Zydaline

    Zydaline Well-Known Member

    Sure it's renewable, but that doesn't mean we're renewing it.
    If that widespread 'It takes 10 years to grow what you're using in 10 minutes' slogans are to be believed, then we certainly are using more paper than we're planting.

    And original paper isn't bleached? Wood is brown, paper is white. Recycled or otherwise.
    Color's gotta come from somewhere.

    Not all companies who cut down trees grow them back. They build huge buildings and make profit, and then that's that. And it DOES harm the environment. You can't have missed the million or two messages they try to send across nations, telling you that cutting down trees reduces oxygen recoverability, causes erosion, global warming and shiz.

    This should provide enough why-nots : http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/deforestation.htm
    Of course, I don't really care. If there's less air, it just means I have less people to be misanthropic against.
  9. gaynorvader

    gaynorvader Well-Known Member

    That's why you cycle where you cut down trees. If you need the yield of 100 acres of trees a year and it takes 10 years to grow a tree, you buy 1000 acres of land and cut down 10% a year, regrowing as you go.

    Wood's not brown! It's a pale golden kind of colour, like
    . The amount of chemicals needed to change this to white is minimal compared to the amount needed to change inks etc to white.

    My point was that all companies should have to grow trees back as this is a much better alternative to recycling. Besides, most companies now days do make paper from sustainable forests. Also I don't believe that global warming is being influenced in any meaningful way by humans as no evidence has been provided that shows me otherwise, but that's another debate. Clearing forests does cause soil erosion, as well as draining nutrients from the soil. However, cutting trees down and regrowing them does not. Around 90% of Earth's oxygen comes from algae, not trees, although they do produce a minimal amount.

    That article talks about deforestation, a completely separate issue.

    Fair point, but I still think that it's a much better idea to support than recycling paper. (I'm not against recycling by the way, I just think recycling paper is a waste of time and resources).

    You mean a large area of land cleared of foliage and wildlife? I'm pretty sure that'd be worth something. Farmland, Malls, Housing estates, etc.

    They don't do it where I'm from, nor do they do it in the states as far as I could find out. The EU doesn't do it either. Nor does the UK. I haven't checked any others, maybe they do though.
    Environmentalism should only be marketable where there's benefit, though obviously with free markets, it allows it to be marketable regardless. That's not the issue though (or my issue anyway :) ), the issue is governments promoting recycling paper as something it isn't. An increased demand for "fresh" trees would lead to more "tree farms". Much in the way that there are far more cows, chickens and pigs than there are wolves, foxes, etc. Recycling has benefits, undeniably, but I don't think that recycling paper has any benefit. Unless you count offering people a chance to feel smug...

    I am aware, I was merely riling up the Brits, it's practically an obligation! :p
  10. Zydaline

    Zydaline Well-Known Member

    Inks aren't bleached to whiteness. If you take a roll of recycled paper and stare at it, you'll notice that there are actually black and coloured spots on it. Besides, bleach costs money and recycled paper is cheap. I doubt they'll double the dose for economical paper, but I can stand corrected.

    But that's unrealistic. Perhaps in developed nations, you can offer them incentives (and maybe already do) and tax exemption for their role in environmental support. That doesn't mean everyone is going to do it. And third-world/developing countries certainly isn't going to give two flying shits about some ozone layer they can't market in a bottle. My point is that it's a good idea, but it's impractical considering the nations undergoing development, their individual policies, and actual response to it.

    Recycling on the other hand, DOES generate profit. Tissue paper and newspapers are made out of recycled paper, and so is the paper for some of the marketed books. There's a market for it, there's profit in it, so there's a higher incentive for it. People sell their papers to be recycled because it earns, and then the industry churns them out because it earns. It's a faster reaction than replanting, which is costly and the benefits to the company may not outweigh the cons.

    And anyway. Why do one? Why not do both? Recycling and replanting both sounds good to me. We need recycled paper for our not-so-important-to-be-white materials, and we need trees to keep it nice and shady.

  11. Suiseiseki

    Suiseiseki Well-Known Member

    Going to point out that sustainable deforestation is both a standard practice and viable. Happens here quite fine, the only lasting environmental cost is the waste gas from the treatment and conversaion plants.
  12. Oteupaiecona

    Oteupaiecona Well-Known Member

    Because it's the smart thing to do.
    I'll explain as i go along...
    Yes, it does.
    Recycling paper reduces pollution.
    I would think that a lot of that paper has color added and other toxic substances that would just seep into the soil where you threw it.
    There will always be the need for trees, as recycled paper does not cover every type of paper.
    Besides, deforestation is a cause for concern.
    If you read the first link i posted, you will see that:
    Because it does.
    Governments save taxpayers money, and a little more then that with this pointless exercise.
    I would be happy to debate this with you, if your interested in starting the thread.
    Just let me know what kind of evidence are you looking for.
  13. Natewlie

    Natewlie A bag of tricks

    Read the criticism right below where you're pointing.
  14. tehuber1337

    tehuber1337 Well-Known Member

    Damn, this thread really got away from me quickly.

    Oh, I see. In that case I agree that reforestation should be mandatory, but I don't know that it's better than recycling. The two processes achieve different ends and should be used concurrently (see below).

    Deforestation usually occurs in rural-ish areas, no? Suburban and commercial development is unlikely there. As for farming, well, it's a helluva lot of time, money and effort for your average bumpkin farmer to clear the land to a farmable state, assuming the terrain is favourable.

    Really? I would've expected otherwise. That's disappointing.

    To this I'll simply cite Dr Dolittle 2 and my earlier post.
    In the long-term, reforestation may indeed be more effective than recycling at sustaining the environment, but damage done in the short-term cannot be neglected. Therefore, recycling to reduce short-term demand for fresh trees (and the immediate strain on ecosystems) should be used in conjunction with long-term reforestation. It's not a matter of one being "better" than the other.
  15. redoperator

    redoperator Well-Known Member

    may I? (don't be a dick and say no, that's rude)

    We do need to recycle, this is our planet since NASA is to goddamn lazy to find us a new one. We need new supplies of energy, but there are people (who are Nature Nut-jobs) that say wind farms=bird deaths and solar panels = screwed ecosystem. we do have programs in America that point out that we need to replace any trees cut down if used for economic standards (the Sierra Act or something like that). There are Treefarms that can be good for OUR economy which is cool. But the problem is other countries don't follow suit and I frownz at zem.

    So to answer the question, I recycle paper because I'm responsible for my actions.
  16. darkrequiem

    darkrequiem Well-Known Member

    The rate at which trees and forests are replaced here in the US is far below the rate of their being used.
    Not to mention the time it takes for trees to be usable.
  17. msg2009

    msg2009 Romulations sexiest member

    You wont rile many brits, were not like americans blinded by patriotism, we know the truth about our shithole.
  18. lewis9191

    lewis9191 Well-Known Member

    So true
  19. drybones41

    drybones41 Well-Known Member

    We should recycle, it takes many years for it to grow 100 years, 200 years and even more. If we had to cut the trees down and plant on a plot of land roughly 1mile by 1mile all the trees would've been cut down before the new trees would've grown. The replacement of trees that would've been cut down would be very slow. Recycling paper may use bleach but what if you mix a bit of bleach with water and placed paper in it would be better than using just bleach.
    Eliminating tree growth for paper? if most people recycled paper we would barely need new paper. Trees can be used for fruit, oranges, coconuts and much much more, wouldn't you think that people would plant those aswell?

    EDIT: 1 other thing what do trees and plants take in during photosynthesis and name 1 crucial bi product of photosynthesis that is in air.
  20. Stanley Richards

    Stanley Richards Well-Known Member

    Technically, NASA HAS discovered a (probably) habitable planet... 20 light years away.